Tag Archives: Google Street View

Canadian Geography Conference Highlights

Exhibition hall at IGU/NCGE/CGA meeting in Quebec, August 2018.

I’ve just returned from Quebec where I attended an international geography conference that was a combination of the annual meeting of the Canadian Association of Geographers (CAG), the annual conference of the National Council for Geographic Education (NCGE), and the regional conference for the International Geography Union (IGU).  Despite the combination of organizations, I’d guess it would be comparable to a regional museum association meeting of about 500 people with the usual sessions, plenary speakers, and exhibition hall.

The big difference from museum and history conferences is that the geography associations seem to accept all presentation proposals. Each presentation is assigned a 15-minute slot in a 60 to 90-minute session according to their committees or study groups (e.g., health care, tourism, indigenous peoples, islands). Presenters in the same session usually have not met each other and there’s no moderator, so it’s just one presentation after another with no introductions or transitions. The result is that a session can be a mixed bag, so a session on “teaching geographic content” included Continue reading

Google Expands its Access to Museums (but not yet Historic Sites)

Floor plan of the American Museum of National History displayed as a Google Map on a smartphone.

Google Maps recently expanded its capabilities of mapping indoor places (mostly  airports and shopping malls) by including two dozen museums in the United States (such as the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Indianapolis Museum, and the Smithsonia–the many museums that make up the Smithsonian Institution) and England (such as the British Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum, and the National Portrait Gallery).  Currently, this feature is only available on Android smartphones or tablets (that may seem limiting but nearly 2 million people have downloaded this app).  More museum maps are in the works but it doesn’t look like any historic sites are participating.  Consider how useful it would be to visitors at such places as Colonial Williamsburg, Gettysburg Battlefield, Sturbridge Village, the Huntington, and James Madison’s Montpelier.  If you’re interested in adding your site details to Google Maps, you can upload floor plans yourself or get help from Google.

In a similar vein, Google Street View just added 360-degree panoramic views of Yosemite and four other national parks in California.  And of course, these are nice complements to the Google Art Project.  It looks like Google is taking a much greater interest in museums along several paths, but historic sites currently seem to be left out of the mix.  I don’t think that’s intentional. I just think it’s a common oversight because most people don’t associate museums with historic sites.  Perhaps I’ll give them a call.

Thanks to John Durel for alerting me to this news item!